MMO’s are the type of genre that are hard to capture at times in a review. Sometimes you get a very diverse game with a ton of potential while in others you just have another fetch quest filled type of game. Tera leans more towards the fetch quest end of the spectrum but it isn’t without merit.
This will have to be the first time that I’ve ever played a more widely known and paid MMO; usually I stick to underground free to play MMORPG’s. I find though that how things are done is quite different. Let’s take for instance Fly For Fun. The game more heavily relies on a group effort and mob killing rather than individuality and quests. This is why I chose a support/buff class since they’re in such short demand. It makes things easier on me when I want to level up because all I have to do is shout “LVL (level here) FSRM NEED PLVL” and I will eventually find someone willing to help me level up. In Tera I decided that I wanted in on the action so I chose the sorcerer class for my character. I am currently level 20 and have not once needed a group. It didn’t take long at all either. While in Flyff it may have taken me maybe an hour or two to level solo (I could still use weapons as a support/buff) in Tera it took me half that time. Even as I grew in level I wasn’t sitting at my chair hoping I would level up soon, the levels came quite quickly. This mind you is most likely due to the heavy use of quests in the game; I took every single quest that I could grab when they were available. One more thing I do want to say is that Tera has a group finding feature which allows you to post up a LFG type ad and other users can peruse this service to find groups that they wish to join. I never had any use for this because like I said, I did everything solo. Even the boss fights…the length of time I took to take them down though it was more like they were mini-bosses almost super-mobs.
Moving on to another ideal part of Tera was the fact that I didn’t find myself grinding for gold or items either. Quests gave me all the items and gold I needed even the mobs dropped superior items than what I had equipped. I may not have had the latest stuff but then again it didn’t seem like anyone was selling anything that I could equip anyways. I was however always up to date with the latest spells for my level, they were so easy to get because I had the money. I really despise having to go around hunting for the amount of gold I need for something because the prices of items are too damn high. Speaking of merchants, they really didn’t sell much of anything useful to me…generally because a lot of what they had was for higher levels. There were also a lot of odds and ends which didn’t pertain to me, one merchant sold quite a lot of archery potions. There were some potions that could be useful to a sorcerer but I was too low a level to use them. I couldn’t even find a simple mana or health potion! I never ran out of mana but I did find myself dangerously low on health a lot of times with no way of replenishing it quickly. There are different levels of “bandages” that you can use to restore a certain amount of health but they didn’t do much. The only time I received mana or health potions was through a quest. I understand that health and mana regenerate slowly over time, but the keyword here is slowly. If I’m doing a quest I don’t want to sit around waiting for my health to replenish, I want something that will replenish it quickly. One more thing and I will end my merchant rant. Teleportation scrolls…the prices were too damn high – one gold and some odd change per scroll. (I only had around 7 gold and some odd change) That is the one item I could not get multiples of easily.
Let’s talk about combat for a bit and cool down a bit from being angry at merchants. The combat system in my experience with my sorcerer was very interesting indeed. I had the ability to jump backwards quickly, away from the enemy, in order to fire more ranged spells at him. There was even a sort of upgraded version of this spell where I would fire ice magic on the ground and jump back. I was very surprised that I wasn’t just shooting magic from a distance hoping to get the mob on low health before it reached me. I had ways of quickly evading the enemy and launching a full out assault from a distance. Even moving around was an option, in attack mode I moved fairly swiftly enough to move to another vantage point and start pummeling the target with my spells. There was not any auto-target however and I sometimes found my spells missing their mark. It was mainly due to my inaccuracy at times or the mob would move out of the way but I did have access to a ranged AOE spell that hit within a certain area. This ranged AOE spell was good for targeting multiple mobs and taking them down quickly if their health was low enough. My most favorite combination was using this ranged AOE spell, then when the mob was close enough I cast a “flame pillar” spell which did continuous damage for a short amount of time. After I could move again I would use the jump back technique then pummel my target with fire balls. Either that or I would use the ice jump back technique and fireballs once I landed. I can not tell you how much fun it was killing mobs in this game.
Last but not least I want to talk about the quests and the lore in the game. Quests were quite simple: go kill this many mobs or go get this amount of stuff and I’ll give you something – nothing more, nothing less. During the “main questline” you had to go and talk to different people for certain quests but for the most part quests stuck to the kill or collect formula. This wasn’t so bad because it I was having a good time killing mobs due to the combat system and I was given a good amount of XP. Despite that though there really wasn’t much of a story going on. Well, there was a story but then there wasn’t. Supposedly the story behind Tera is that the seven races (Amani, Barakas, Castanics, Elin, High Elves, Humans, and Poporis, must face off against the Argons. The Argons are a metallic race bent on taking over Tera and waking the titans who created Tera which would then destroy Tera. Weird huh? Not much of this is mentioned and I have yet to meet up with any Argon resistance yet. I’ve mainly been dealing with faeries (yes evil faeries), unicorns (evil unicorns), horned demon things, and bears. The kill/collect formula really does apply to the “main questline” and the most exciting thing you do is defeat the mini-bosses or bosses, or whatever you want to call them. Even then I had to go look on YouTube to find out where a couple of them were. There are a few interesting plot points dealing with the long lost brother of one of the leading figures in the army but other than that it’s devoid. You’re basically playing “The Sims Mythical Wars” without the nuances and idiosyncrasies of The Sims games.
In the end I would have to give Tera a 3 out of 5. It’s a tough decision because I loved playing Tera, it’s addictive and I didn’t have to sit for hours trying to gain one level. However the game is lacking a good story and certain items to help players along the way. Despite my poor score I’ll still be playing Tera when I can. Thank you En Masse Entertainment for trying new things and pioneering in the realm of the MMORPG. It’s not easy making a game that people want to play, let alone one that you can make money off of. Well done.